J.C. Penney files for bankruptcy

Long-troubled U.S. department store chain, J.C. Penney, has become the latest brick-and-mortar retailer to crumble amid stay-at-home orders and a freezing of the consumer economy.

The company filed for bankruptcy protection, Friday - with plans to permanently close some stores - saying it reached an agreement with existing lenders for $900 million dollars of debtor-in-possession financing to aid operations while it navigates bankruptcy proceedings.

The loan consists of $450 million in fresh financing.

While J.C. Penney plans to reorganize and emerge from bankruptcy proceedings after eliminating several billion dollars of debt, the company said it will also explore a sale.

Reuters earlier reported that the company was nearing a bankruptcy filing and negotiating the financing.

The 118-year-old department store chain - which once operated more than 1,600 locations - has been in a long decline.

Even before stay-at-home orders, J.C. Penney was struggling with nearly $4 billion of debt and pressure from both discount retailers and e-commerce companies.

J.C. Penney’s bankruptcy filing comes in the same month Neiman Marcus and J. Crew filed for bankruptcy protection after alternative attempts to rework their finances failed.

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